Thanks for the link to a great night a while ago....
Wow what a treat. Yeah I taped Europe and all west coast thereafter up to the Jerry Memorial. I patched into Ed's Schoepps hypercards and he was religiously dead center for perfect ORTF (a french configuration coincidentally) and I had such a great show. The real kicker was that I really didn't come overseas with any party supplies, and we were all running to Amsterdam between countries, and the last train to Paris was just so filled thst there were no seats on the train, people filled the aisles the luggage racks and the decks between cars. It was 2 weeks into the tour and everyone figured it was finally safe enough to stop tossing out what they couldn't finish so it was like the bulldog cafe on the train, total cheech and chong. At 4am about 60 miles out of Paris Nord in the middle of pitch dark french countryside, the train slowly came to a stop. By then everyone was blitzed boyond belief and totally passed out snoring. The Gendarmes tried to get onto the train with drug sniffing dogs but couldn't get through all of the bodies. I've never seen a more confused police dog in my life. He cried because it was all around and he didn't know who to point at. The cops realized it was a lost cause so instead the started doing a big show in the bathroom with a lot of aha! look what we found. They must have fished a pound of contraband out of every conceivable nook and cranny and then got of before have the group even woke. What a laugh. Anyway, at Paris, word had it that Bear Owsley had a massive chrystal of a particularly magnificent Circa 1966 suspended in oil and properly stored for 24 years for a special occasion. Conveniently a Mr. Jerome Garcia had plain white busines cards which happened to be printed on very unusually soft and absorbent paper, which then accidentally became totally saturated with this old brew and then managed to get all over the place up front near where my brother had always hung out. He came running up to find me in the taper zone and handed me a tiny damp half gnawed piece of Jerry card, which I thought was an incredibly thoughtful gesture, but really only symbolic since there was no way such a tiny minuscule random spit wad caught between teeth could have any real effect, even if it had been countless months since the last time, and even then, it was all just so ho-hum to me.
But everyone was in such a great mood and so cool that night and then the music started and it sounded so zesty and clear and I just really began to groove and dance and dance like I haven't danced since Jerry at the Orpheum. I mean I just was sitting in the sweet spot, and Old Ed caught the groove more than usual, and then everyone near us got completely totally dialed in and we just danced our asses off like it was the floor at Jerry's feet.
It hadn't rained in Paris for months and months but that night it just got so incredibly steamy in that big tent that we were totally crazed and drenched I mean it was just the first fucking awesome show that I had had since maybe Laguna Seca or an odd Shoreline or Cal Expo, and few shows ever approached SUCH FUN for me (as fun as it all was). It was high energy , totally visual tinsel sparkle wonderfully pulsating zippity-doo-dah yippy yahoo merry-go-round and yet not flabby, intoxicated, loud, dizzy, or zoned out. It was big eyed and bushy tailed. I mean there was real clarity and joyous, blithe, lighthearted, exhilarating relief and openhearted connectedness that we all find in moments, from time to time, but rarely sustain while so in sync with an entire room on tour together.
It was a sublime moment on a tour which, for me up until then, really was working hard through Brent's absence as well as the hard slog of flu season in a complicated fast moving "trudge" through Europe.
This night was a surprise. I had underestimated the French. When you see a bunch of shows and commit to taping and you've been around a while you get a little hard to surprise. Its nice when you get thrust into the miracle of a really groovin' show that is so much more than can be experienced at a dozen other nights that sound just like it.
We all tried so hard to get that onto the tape or burned into film or memory or described a million different ways, but when it happens its just so nice, and so disarming, and all you can do is just smile smile smile. And it DID rain that night in Paris for the first time in many months, and the show went on way too long and was way too fun and we all just stayed so long that we missed the last subway out of Le Zenith, that spece aged distant corner of the town, and we walked miles and miles to the Mercure Montmarte, as fifty taxi cabs drove by with fares since nobody in Paris had umbrellas and we were just too American to leave any cheese eating surrender monkeys (I quote Robin Williams) out in the rain. We were totally wet, our gang, and we caroused all the way through that beautiful wet city making friend along the way until we finally got to our hotel at Jim Morrison's grave at 4:20 a.m
. It was a beautiful night and it made the whole trip through Europe worth everything just for one night. It was just Omnipotent Serendipity. Or as I like to call it, Omnipotydipity.
Thanks for the tree link. I know about that sight but I just hadn't rolled a tape since I stopped taping. Its weird but the recording was a collaboration for me. And so I didn't have much interest in it outside of the shows, as strange and as unexpected as that may seem considering my dedication to making and collecting incredible stuff. I would mix 2 AKG 414b with 2 C460b CK 1 and roll up to 20 decks. I was the mad taper from hell and my gear bag weighed 100lbs. I had batteries and tape for everyone. It was a labor of love.
So I guess I deserve to just download a board now and then... Actually I haven't spun a DAT for years and I really need to digitize on hard drive before the masters totally self destruct from lack of use since 1995. I just need to find an antique DAT machine, before they go extinct.....anyway, when I get my shit together I'll be sure to mass produce CD's for everyone.
My alma mater, UCSC just received the Grateful Dead (non vault) "archives" of memorabilia and literature and historical stuff, so I am getting motivated to get this stuff online so I can give them everything I have. The novelty is that I was not a shotgun taper like almost everyone else, and I like fat wide ambient recordings that clearly captured the vibe and tome of the audience. I roll for minutes after the band left the stage and even record post show "green sleeves" or whatever on the P.A. and all of the comical shatter and shenanigans you'd get in a room full of the coolest people I knew.
Man, its all coming back to me now. Thanks for stimulating the memory again. Sometimes I forget how much fun it can be to remember some old fun.